East Cleveland law director says verdict won’t stand after man is awarded $22M

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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court jury awarded a man $22 million Tuesday after he sued East Cleveland police for beating him and locking him in a closet.

Now, East Cleveland Law Director Willa Mae Hemmons says she believes that verdict won't stand.

She filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court before the case went to trial, and she believes the lower court at that point lost jurisdiction. Hemmons did not appear in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court during the trial for that reason. She says she learned the verdict from the Fox 8 I-Team.

"The verdict is over the top," Hemmons said. "Tamir Rice died, and the family only got $6 million. This guy is walking around."

When asked for comment Wednesday, court officials said they can't talk about the case other than it did go before a jury, and there was a verdict.

Attorney Bob DiCello says his client Arnold Black was fraudulently arrested in 2012. Black was handcuffed by police, beaten and then put in a storage closet. He said he was locked inside the closet for four days.

East Cleveland officials say the officers involved in this case no longer work for their department.

Continuing coverage here.